Mahendra Singh Dhoni and former Australian opener Matthew will feature in an exhibition six-hitting contest to kick start TNPL.
The India Cements Tamil Nadu Premier League 2017 will commence on Saturday, July 22.
Dhoni returns to unite with his Chennai fans, where he has been the driving force for the India Cements-owned Chennai Super Kings for all eight years, before the ‘yellow brigade’ was suspended amidst fixing and corruption allegations. CSK is all set to return to the IPL fold with the 2018 edition. Dhoni is tipped to back with the team. India Cements supremo N Srinivasan too has expressed his interest to regain the former India and CSK captain.
The defending champions Albert TuTi Patriots take on the Dindigul Dragons at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai in the inaugural tie. A star-studded six-hitting contest ahead of the game will kick off the second edition of the tournament.
Dhoni, Mohit Sharma, S Badrinath, Pawan Negi are among the India cricketers to enthrall the audience. Former Australia batsman Hayden and Tamil Nadu batsman Anirudha Srikkanth will face the bowling machine and clear the ropes. India Internationals L Balaji, M Vijay and Tamil Nadu all-rounder C Ganapathy will also be present at the event, which is sponsored by Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited.
The six-hitting contest will begin at 6 pm and will end by 7 pm. The opening show will be followed by toss and the match will start at 7.15 pm.
International Indian cricket stars like Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Piyush Chawla and Sanju Samson were keen to participate in the TNPL. As many as 88 players from the other State associations have been registered with the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. The TNCA was considering to include them in the player draft. However, BCCI ruled out outstations players participation in the leagues run by the State assoiations.
BCCI in a letter to TNCA had stated that outstation cricketer cannot play in a league run by the State associations. Incidentally, TNCA was made to pay for a precedence set by one of its own influential cricket administrators. The decision to prevent outstation players from the leagues run by State bodies was taken by N Srinivasan when he was the BCCI president. The present regime had enforced the same decision.